[Speech] Rabbi Danny Rich urges Government to reunite refugee families

Rabbi Danny Rich
12 September 2016

Note: This speech was originally given by Rabbi Danny Rich, the senior rabbi of Liberal Judaism, at the LJS with multi-faith leaders calling on the government to revise legislation to reunite refugee families

“In the Hebrew Bible the Children of Israel are admonished a number of times ‘You shall love the stranger as yourself’ or ‘You shall not wrong the stranger’ followed by the phrase ‘…for you were strangers in Egypt’ (Leviticus 19:34).

These and other examples are at the core of the Jewish moral imperative derived from the experience of slavery,oppression or desperation – or of being unaccompanied children fleeing evil. They serve as a double reminder: not to carry out the same outrages which were visited upon our ancestors but, more importantly, to use the memory of the past to empathise, and then act, on behalf of those currently facing such experiences.

Jewish children knew what it was to be separated from family and all that was familiar and Jews have learnt,too, the pain of separation from elderly relatives.

That is why as a Jew and a human being I have signed the letter calling on the Government to review the family re-union provision of the immigration rules to make them not only just and fair but compassionate too!”

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